How can we nurture mental health in isolation?
This has certainly been a strange time for us all. We have all been in isolation/lockdown/ quarantine for a few weeks now and I am sure since we have been couped up, the cabin fever is setting in! Naturally, the question is, mental health in isolation – How!!!? How do we continue to appreciate what we have and keep the joy, motivation and thankfulness alive?
1. Something to Look Forward to…
What are a few things that you enjoy? What is something that makes you happy? Find a few things that you can place through your day that you can look forward to.
- Does tea or coffee make you happy? Have a moment with a baby cookie and some tea or coffee.
- Do you like music? Find new artists and songs to enjoy.
- Call up a friend and have a little laugh.
- Listen to an audio book. There are some great short stories out there.
- Go for a walk.
2. Have A Five Minute Dance Party
Pick a favourite tune, crank up the music, sing aloud and dance around for a song or two. If you can find someone to dance with at home – well, the more the merrier, but if not just shake it out alone before getting back to what you were doing.
This not only gets your heart rate up but also helps the endorphins get pumping in the brain and keeps you feeling happy a while. A happy song goes a long way :)! You could place many such little dance parties throughout your day! Anything for mental health in isolation ;)!
3. Thankful Hearts
Another key to mental health in isolation is to nurture thankful hearts. When we find things we are grateful and thankful for and hold that feeling of thankfulness, enjoy it and let it fill our minds and bodies, we are actually creating new positive neurological pathways in our brains. These pathways, if reinforced regularly provide the resilience needed for hard times and definitely fight on the side of mental health.
Everyday think of 5 new things you are grateful and thankful for…
Today I am thankful for :
- The beautiful pine tree outside my window.
- The 5 minute dance party with my lovely husband.
- Music that broadens my world.
- The deep belief in my heart that we will be okay.
- The hope that things will get better.
4. Make a Safe Place
A safe place is simply a place you can call your own. A place where you can go to feel happy, calm or safe. It could be your bed, or out in your yard, it could be the kitchen table where you gather as a family, it could be a bed sheet fort. Think of what or where that would be for you and take a moment to create it. Add to a space, or remove something from a space, do what you need to do to make your safe place. This is a space you can retreat to when you need to feel safe, calm or uplifted.
For me, mental health in isolation looks like my safe place – a big cozy arm chair that looks out on to the loveliest golden purple sunsets and a very old magnificent pine tree! I curl up on this chair with some herbal tea and suddenly the world is a better place!
It’s a bit rough, yes, but let’s make memories worth recalling during this period of social isolation, so when we think back we know we made the most of the situation that we found ourselves in and that we didn’t compromise or neglect our mental health in isolation.
“All we have to do is decide what to do with the time that is given us”
J.R.R Tolkien, Lord of the Rings, Gandalf #
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